Calvin Turner’s NFL Draft process has been years in the making.
After a breakout 2020 season with Hawaii, the pro buzz around his name was palpable. Instead, the Jacksonville State transfer chose to come back for his final year of college eligibility in 2021.
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In his two years at Hawaii, Turner racked up 2,724 all-purpose yards and 23 total touchdowns, electrifying followers as a running back, receiver, returner and wildcat quarterback.
With the 2022 NFL Draft set to run from Thursday through Saturday, Turner is hoping to hear his name called by the end of the weekend. If he were to not get picked, he is projected to be a priority undrafted free agent.
“It’s been a crazy process. You just never know what’s going on and what teams are truly thinking,” Turner told KHON2 sports director Rob DeMello recently. “They give you a little bit of information but you just truly never know what’s going on or who is going to get you and things like that, so it’s just been a crazy process but it has been a good experience definitely.
“I just try to stay patient through it all. For me, the best thing for me to do is just stay in shape, get in shape, be ready for wherever I do go, just be ready to play football and be ready to perform. I feel like no matter where I go, I’ll be ready for the opportunity and be ready to perform at a high level. That’s what it’s all about.”
Although Turner only spent two pandemic-shortened seasons in a Hawaii uniform, he remains grateful for his experience on the islands.
“I appreciate the state of Hawaii so much. I appreciate the coaches and all my teammates and all the fans that I have there,” Turner said. “They mean so much to me and I know that without them the last two years would have been a little weird and a little awkward but I definitely appreciate everything that the Hawaii fans and anyone that has supported me has done for me and I really can’t wait to go out to the next level and say that I’m from the University of Hawaii and I played for something bigger than myself up there and I can’t wait to go out and show the whole world what Hawaii football is all about.”
From a Hawaii perspective, the 2022 NFL Draft is an interesting one considering the fact that there are no surefire picks, with the exception of Ohio State defensive lineman and Halawa native Haskell Garrett. However, a bevy of prospects with Hawaii ties either have potential to get picked on Day 3 or are likely to sign with teams immediately following the draft. Below are said prospects KHON2 has identified, in addition to Turner in no particular order:
Mika Tafua, defensive end, Utah (Kamehameha alum and Laie native)
Myron Tagovailoa-Amosa, defensive lineman, Notre Dame (Kapolei alum)
Kanai Mauga, linebacker, USC (Waianae alum)
Vavae Malepeai, running back, USC (Mililani alum)
McKenzie Milton, quarterback, Florida State/UCF (Mililani alum)
Kekaula Kaniho, defensive back, Boise State (Kahuku alum)
La’akea Kaho’ohanohano-Davis, linebacker, Southern Utah (Baldwin alum)
Jared Smart, receiver, Hawaii
Kohl Levao, interior offensive lineman, Hawaii
Gene Pryor, offensive lineman, Hawaii
Djuan Matthews, defensive lineman, Hawaii
Cortez Davis, cornerback, Hawaii
Colby Burton, defensive back, Hawaii
Quentin Fraizer, defensive back, Hawaii
Eugene Ford, defensive back, Hawaii
Arnold “Chima” Azunna, defensive back, Hawaii